Acts of dissent are not unusual in China.
Over the years, sudden, local explosions of defiance have been triggered by a range of issues – from toxic pollution to illegal land grabs, or the mistreatment of a community member at the hands of the police.
But this time it’s different.
There is one subject at the forefront of Chinese people’s minds, and many are increasingly fed up with it – prompting widespread pushback against the government’s zero-Covid restrictions.
This has come in the form of residents smashing down barriers designed to enforce social distancing, and now large street protests in cities and university campuses across the country
The US will no longer require air travelers to have proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering the country from abroad.
Officials said they were dropping the requirement due to the “tremendous progress” the country had made in the fight against the virus.
The travel industry has been pushing for an end to the policy, which they say has deterred bookings, as families fear getting stranded abroad.
The change comes into effect on Sunday.
The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Wednesday that “blanket” vaccine booster shot programs could “prolong” the pandemic, as the United States urged citizens to get their third shots and Israel introduced a fourth dose.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said booster shot programs could extend the pandemic by “diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage,” allowing the coronavirus to spread and possibly mutate in countries where few citizens are vaccinated, according to CNBC.
When the Covid-19 crisis first hit, demand plummeted for Romy Taormina’s flagship product, a band travelers wear on their wrists to ease nausea. Now that travel is coming back, her business is being whipsawed by the same supply issues that marked the start of the global pandemic.
“We are doing our best to weather this Covid storm and catch the wave to the other side. But it’s been a ride,” says Taormina, the CEO and founder of Psi Health Solutions, the Pacific Grove, California-based maker of Psi Bands.
Her exasperation is felt by small-business owners across a range of industries in the U.S. Besides the global microchip shortage, which President Biden recently called a “national security issue,” electricians can’t source the little plastic boxes they need to rewire light fixtures. Contractors are reporting a 200 percent surge in the price of lumber. Even the supply of Taiwanese tapioca is drying up.
Covid has slowed down business for all kinds of companies. It can be incredibly frustrating to look at all of the unused space on which you are paying a mortgage or rent. The last thing you may think to do is spend any more money right now.
When business inevitably opens up again, you need to be competitive. Here are some ways to improve your business now, while business may be slower than other times.
Examine your Business Expenses
This is a pretty logical step to take during a slow time. If you aren’t busy making money, now is a good time to make sure you aren’t bleeding out money anywhere. Look into employee activity reports, office expenses, vehicles, and other areas of your business to find anywhere that money is being wasted.
Apoorva Mehta pauses for a moment to consider the past ten months of chaos. A year ago, he was running Instacart as a popular app that was gaining momentum. Then last spring came a massive Covid-fueled boost. Things quickly morphed into a nightmare: striking shoppers, inventory shortages and the challenge of meeting the kind of blistering demand Mehta wasn’t expecting until at least the next presidential election.
As it turns out, the tribulations of March were just the beginning. As the country’s leading grocery delivery app, Instacart is now besieged by a growing number of well-funded competitors. Mehta himself is under pressure to justify a valuation that more than doubled during those 10 months to $18 billion, a highly anticipated public offering and a strategy aimed at proving Amazon—when it comes to supermarkets, at least—has it all wrong. Understated and wonky, Mehta deftly sidesteps any hint of urgency.